The Betrayal - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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Thread: The Betrayal

  1. #1
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    One of my favorite characters is the insane ex-Mon-Keigh strategician, Salaam Arkanian. So here's his origin:

    "Wraiths incoming!"
    "Necrontyr forces sighted on eastern front!"
    "Communication with Vadhallan Keep lost!"
    The reports poured in, from all corners of the globe. Marcharest was falling, there was no doubt about that. The Necrontyr had been pouring force into it for months, and the great bulwarks that had studded the landscape stood broken and empty. Above, the sky whirled in a furious maelstrom, mirroring the battle on the ground. Salaam Arkanian stood in the middle of it all, silent, impassive. His war room was an oddly quiet place, the soundproofed walls completely shutting out the fury of the battle only kilometers away. Three-dimensional projection maps covered the walls, constantly changing and updating. Salaam hated to look at them, hated what they symbolized, hated the Necrontyr. He hated them for what they were and what they stood for, hated them for what they had done to his home and family and men. His face showed none of these emotions, however. General Arkanian may as well have been carved out of solid stone, for all his face revealed. After what seemed like an age of silence, he spoke:
    "Order... a fighting retreat." He strode over to one of the largest maps and tapped the wall with a hand, minimizing the other maps to make room for the big one. He tapped a hand on one edge of the continent, away from the Necrontyr. "Order the dropships to land here."
    Out on the field of battle, chaos reigned. Ghostlike Wraiths swerved and glided through the Mon-Keigh troops, butchering them indiscriminately. Heavy Destroyers opened up on great Behemoth tanks, rending them apart. But the Mon-Keigh fought back; with energy blades, with warp cannons, with lightning pistols. They slowly moved backward, as their implacable enemies ponderously advanced. A keening roar split the sky: a Dropship. Many more were arriveing, now, quickly settling down behind the battle lines. Still-firing Mon-Keigh swarmed toward their ships and freedom, scrambling up the ramps and diving aboard. One by one, the ships took off, buzzing into the sky like hornets.
    Salaam Arkanian watched all this, and it pleased him. His command staff stared at him, realizing slowly that there would be no drop ship for them.
    "Gentlemen, we will not survive today." Somber silence filled the room, weighing on all of their hearts. "But, by the Old Ones, we will take as many of the bastards with us as we can!" Wild cheering erupted. The wizened old general raised a hand for quiet. "Activate the Harr Shield." Harr was the last letter of the Mon-Keigh alphabet; the harr shield was the last line of defense, a wall of plasma energy and metal fifty feet thick. No known weapon, Mon-Keigh or Necrontyr, could pierce it. Once raised, the shield could only be lowered by the equivalent of fifty megatons of Mon-Keigh tactical fusion warheads. There was only one place where that much firepower was assembled- deep in the bowels of this very installation...

    To Be Continued

    Si em, tow en can de lach.
    Tak! Tak! Tak ah wan, Tak a lah!
    Mi tow, can de lach.
    Mi him, en tow.

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  3. #2
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    Part two.
    Silence reigned in the tiny chamber.
    Overhead, death flew by on silent wings. Necrontyr, millions of them, moving slowly and purposefully. The faces in the room betrayed the nervousness of the command staff. They knew they would die. That was no issue; they were prepaed to die to serve their people. Only one face stayed impassive. Salaam Arkanian, the ancient general, stared impassively ahead. His face was grey with age; wrinkles covered his forehead, hanging over deep-set eyes. One was milky white, completely blind, while the other was deep grey. It was said that General Arkanian saw more with one eye than most people saw with two, and this could certainly be true. His eyes were divided by a sharp nose, coming to a defiant end above a tight, thin-lipped mouth. Even those who knew him had never seen him smile; when his lips parted, it was only to issue orders in a deep, craggy voice. His voice was growing soft with age, but the orders were always followed. Salaam Arkanian had personally directed over three hundred battles against the Necrontyr, and had never lost. Never. Defeat was staring him in the eye today, and he stared back. The silence was only broken by the air recyclers, keeping the staff alive. They knew what was coming. They hda heard and obeyed the order to arm the fusion bombs. How could one diobey such an order, from the greatest Mon-Keigh general that ever lived? It was unthinkable. They did not understand, they only obeyed.
    "Sir..." began one of the younger staffers. His cream colored uniform contrasted his pale brown skin, blanched paler now than the Children of the Old Ones. They had been doing their own fighting, their psychics guiding them and their warriors fighting beyond death in pale bodies. The Mon-Keigh had no such technology or ability; only their iron-hard determination kept them fighting a war that would never end. The War in Heaven, some were calling it. Arkanian had called it "The War in Hell."
    "Sir, perhaps.... I could ask... why are we waiting so long?" The junior officer immediately regretted his comment, but he could not take it back. Arkanian swiveled slowly and looked at the officer. The unfortunate captain wilted under the general's gaze. It was a long time before he spoke.
    "Do you know what allows these demons to terrorize us?" he asked. His tone was cold, but he wept inwardly for this officer. For this officer, and those like him. So young, though Arkanian. So young, to fight a war we cannot win. A wasteful war, started by the Old Ones. A war that cannot end in victory for either side.
    "Do you know why they are a threat? Why we do not crush them as they deserve? They have weapons, Captain. Weapons called C'tan."
    "Have you seen a C'tan, Captain? Have you? I have. I have seen what they do to men. I have seen the mindless terror they inspire. I have seen them destroy entire armies. I have seen them tear even Harr Armored troops limb from limb."
    "I have seen them kill. And I have seen them die. They are hard to kill, it is true, but not impossible. Kill the C'tan, and the war will end. And the death of one C'tan is worth the lives of all of us. You, me, everyone on this world. Do you know why the Necrons are not down here already? I have installed a phase guard; they cannot teleport through. Doubtless they have tried, but while they remain within a hundred klicks of this bunker, they cannot teleport. And so our retreating troops are safe for now. But there is one thing that can get us. That is why they will send their C'tan down. They will send him down. And we will kill him."
    "But- how?" exclaimed the officer. Salaam Arkanian was silent. And the officer remembered the explosives at the same time as the other occupants of the bunker.
    "By the Old Ones..."
    To be Continued

    I want to hear feedback! Post some comments if you guys want to see the climactic finale.
    Si em, tow en can de lach.
    Tak! Tak! Tak ah wan, Tak a lah!
    Mi tow, can de lach.
    Mi him, en tow.

  4. #3
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    On a mildly populated industrial world, there is a cathedral. It is nothing special; merely a cathedral to the Almighty God-Emperor of Mankind. The darkness is pierced by several lazy beams of colored light, filtering in through the cathedrals stained-glass windows. The secret to staining the glass has been lost; these are some of the alst of their kind in the galaxy. The windows are the world's pride and joy. Below the windows stands a man. He is a normal man, a good man. He pays his tithes and worships the Emperor. He has a family and a steady job. He shares what he has with the cathedral: coming in every day to sweep the floor and polish the altar. Sometimes he shines the ceremonial silver. The man likes his job. He likes the windows. Sometimes, before everyone comes in, he stands below the windows and bathes in the colored sunlight. But not very often; he has work to do. He is sweeping now- his broom arcs lazily back and forth across the marble floor, making a swishing sound as it sends little clumps of dust flying. They explode into the air, dancing dizzily around in the beams from the cathedral windows like a thousand glimmering motes of light. The floor is worn smooth from the passage of many feet- it is cool and pleasing to the touch. The man like to sweep with no shoes, as the marble feels good against his callused feet.
    Above him, a shadow crosses the beam. He looks up. Something skitters against the window. He chuckles: the kids are outside throwing stones again. He resumes his sweeping.
    With a crash, a stone flies through the window. He looks up in disbelief as an image of the Emperor of Mankind holding Sanguinius is shattered into a million glittering fragments. Slowly, almost lazily, they fall through the air, arcing down toward the observer on the ground. The rock lands near him, sending a plume of dirt into the air. His broom falls as well, clattering against the ground. He does not care- his gaze is fixed on the thousands of falling fragments. They begin to hit the floor around him, shattering into pieces the size of his fingernails. He continues watching as the glass rains down around him. It seems to fall for a long time: minute after minute, the grimly silent spectacle continues. Then, as soon as it started, it is over, leaving only echoes. Miraculously, the man is unharmed by the razor-sharp glass. He falls to his knees, glass cruching beneath him. The light pours in through the window hole, hitting the multicolored glass on the floor and prisming, coruscating away in a dazzling rainbow. The custodian sits with his hands on his knees, staring. A single tear flows down his cheek. He aimlessly swishes his hands through the glass on the floor. Then, in a flurry of motion, he is up. Frantically, he searches for large fragments, and he yells excitedly as he finds two. Ramming them together, he shouts with triumph, a shout which dies as the glass quickly shatters, driving splinters into his hands. He screams in grief and pain, pounding on the floor with his bloodstained hands. Then, slowly, he subsides into moaning, and finally, silence, as he slumps to the ground, lying peacefully among the pieces of a once-beautiful work of art.



    Salaam Arkanian was trying desperately to piece together the fragments of peace left in the galaxy. He reflected as the time ticked down; there was not much else to do. None of his command staff seemed very talkative. He reflected on war and peace: a mind that for centuries had dominated the battlefields began to consider peace. It was a new experience. He knew what he has to do, but not why he had to do it.
    Are we all blind? he asked himself. We do what we must to live another day. Is that wrong? We clash with the Necrontyr because they threaten us. Is that right? Do we threaten them? He was the best, Arkanian realized. He was the best that was, and the best that would be. He was an unmatched tactical genius- but he was going to lose.
    If I lose, do they win? Does my death vindicate their agenda? Or is this going to be a pyrrhic victory for either side?
    Do I have a choice here? I am doing what, I have been told, is Right. These Necrontyr will destroy my home and family if I don't do this. But if I do, I will destroy them. How is it my prerogative to decide who lives and who dies? How is it my choice? Why do I have the right, the power of life and death?

    Above, a new noise overrode the hum of the shield generators. A muted roar, like an enormous beast. Only Arkanian knew what it was.
    "C'tan!"
    The cry set everyone in the war room in motion. Their upcoming death had been a specter, waiting around the corner, hazy and formless. Now it was defined, sharp as a bullet, and approaching fast. And Salaam Arkanian knew what he had to do. The Necrontyr weren't evil- but their masters were. These C'tan threatened all life in the galaxy, and he would not allow them to do what he couldn't bring himself to: hold the power of life and death over every sentient being in the galaxy.
    With a resounding crack, the C'tan struck the outer housing. Those in the room heard an agonized squeak as the metal bent and tore, cleaving apart easily before the might of stars. The death-god flowed into the room like water, ignoring all of the staff except Arkanian. He knew what he had to do- yet, for some reason, he didn't do it. The C'tan met his gaze, and for a moment they stared at each other. Arkanian stared into the eyes of the greatest enemy of his people, and saw no intelligence there. Sentince, but not intelligence- only a cold, calculating urge to sate its monstrous hunger. In a split-second he realized why the C'tan had to die. There was nothing there- no desires but hunger, no thoughts but death. He pulled the trigger.

    The first explosion vaporized the war room. killing everyone inside instantly. The shock wave tore through the surface of the planet, sending Necrontyr flying. The very earth melted and fused, pockets of superheated metal exploding in shrapnel. Shiny Necrontyr bodies exploded and melted, and Monoliths were flung through the air by the force of the explosion.
    The second explosion shot through the layers of the planet, churning up the magma of the core. The planet shuddered as though punched with a giant fist. The shockwave raced around the planet, thrashing the seas and tearing down forests. A viewer on the moon of the planet would have seen the planet shake violently, then stop. Then it cracked down the middle like an enormous egg. A continent spun off into space, the fragmenting planet unable to hold onto it. Necron ships began desperate evasive maneuvers, but it was not enough. Pieces of land the size of countries, with entire cities sill on them, crashed into ships and pulverized them like insects. The mighty Tombship was buffeted by a smaller chunk of land, but managed to move evasively fast enough to avoid the worst of the explosion.
    Aboard the tombship, all was silent. No Necrons appeared; there was no way to self-repair a bubblig chunk of metal. Only those who had stayed behind survived- and a gaunt, spectral figure. The C'tan had survived the death of Marcharest, though it looked the worse for wear. passing smoothly through bulkheads, it made its way to a central chamber, where a mighty Necron Lord body stood rigid. Tubes and cables connected to the inert form, apparati that lit up when the C'tan snaked a tendril of necrodermis toward them. With no sound at all, the eyes of the Lord brightened, and it sat up, looknig around.

    Salaam Arkanian was expecting peace. He was expecting quiet. Maybe, some reincarnation. Not this. It took several minutes for his fate to sink in, as he glanced around. He saw the C'tan, and despair gripped his heart. It wasn't dead. Then, he lookied into a polished bulkhead, and saw himself for the first time.

    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
    Si em, tow en can de lach.
    Tak! Tak! Tak ah wan, Tak a lah!
    Mi tow, can de lach.
    Mi him, en tow.

  5. #4
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    nice.... very nice. i hope to see a part 4
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  6. #5
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    I don&#39;t think there will be one, as the now fully insane Salaam Arkanian is basically as advanced as he&#39;s gonna get. Look for more Deciever fluff featuring him, though&#33;
    Si em, tow en can de lach.
    Tak&#33; Tak&#33; Tak ah wan, Tak a lah&#33;
    Mi tow, can de lach.
    Mi him, en tow.

  7. #6
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    Hi Deciever.

    Okay, read the fic and didn&#39;t understand what was happening.

    Is Salaam actually human or some other alien?

    Do I need to read the Codex:Necrons to understand the story?
    Whoso would be a man must be a non conformist
    People should be taught what is, not what should be.

  8. #7
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    He&#39;s Mon-Keigh: one of the Young Races engineered by the Old Ones to fight the C&#39;tan.
    Si em, tow en can de lach.
    Tak&#33; Tak&#33; Tak ah wan, Tak a lah&#33;
    Mi tow, can de lach.
    Mi him, en tow.

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